We are often asked to try out and review several products during training. Over the years, we’ve picked out our favorites and tend to lean towards the same products, even as a team. Below are some of the key items that most of us carry in our gym bags to help us get through training sessions and competitions.Read More
While there are no perfect models to predict how and when athletes will rebound from physical or psychological adversity, if they remain in this sport long enough, the progression will inevitably be cyclical in nature. When telling an athlete to trust the process, it is easier to do so when there is visibility into the journey by those who have traveled the road before them.Read More
Having a bruised pubic bone from Snatching is painful AF. Once you have one, it feels like it will never go away. Naturally as humans, we will try to avoid pain and snatch technique will suffer. How do we even get those darn bruises? Here’s a little info regarding how they happen and how to prevent them.Read More
Experiencing discomfort in your wrist while Snatching or feel like your turnover is too slow? Nicole Lim and the California Strength Weightlifting Team weigh in on whether or not you should release your hook grip when receiving the Snatch overhead.Read More
For the most part, exercise (like weightlifting) can improve your sleep quality and duration. However, it is common to see your sleep habits disrupted as a result of aggressive exercise and that can impact your recovery. Some studies suggest that excessive or aggressive exercise can overstimulate the bodies natural stress responses and stress hormones, leading to an increased heart rate and alertness. Throw into the mix a pre-workout Fast Twitch RTD and you could have trouble falling asleep missing critical recovery gains as result. We have pulled some tips that you can implement TONIGHT to dramatically change your sleep habits and improve your recovery.Read More
Think your weightlifting program is perfect? You've accounted for volume, intensity, exercise selection and have lined up your periodization to peak at the perfect time; but wait. Have you added mental reps into the equation? All your blood, sweat and tears could easily be for not if the mental side of training is forgotten. Don't worry, we have you covered!Read More
Sometimes, you just need to feel healthy and drink something green. I started this healthy shake to help me feel more energized and hydrated throughout the day with hopes of consuming a few more nutrients and vitamins as well. After doing more research, I’ve found that the ingredients can help combat inflammation, boost my immune system, and help with digestion!
Full Recipe IncludedRead More
Wes Kitts and the California Strength team embarked on the world renowned Jacked & Tan mesocycle as the first training cycle back from competing at the American Open. Known for it's hypertrophy and strength building qualities, Jacked & Tan has been a staple of the California Strength annual plan. American Record holder Wes Kitts breaks down the Jacked & Tan cycle, from his perspective and details the ups and downs that culminated with a 260kg Pause Back Squat, a 240kg Front Squat and a 215kg Clean & Jerk in the final weeks of training.Read More
During my preparation for the 2016 Open, we needed to increase strength while maintaining my metabolic capacity, and the solution was adding The Barbell WOD programming to my training arsenal. The Barbell WOD provided a spotlight focus on my Olympic weightlifting while still allowing me to recover enough to complete my daily Metcons. The strength that I gained as a result of the programming has had a huge impact on increasing my 1RM's in the Olympic lifts and building CrossFit-specific strength in barbell cycling.Read More
I fell in love with the most impossible, monotonous, soul-destroying sport and I wasn’t going to give up. I sat down with Dave and discussed what we could do differently to get my heiny off the plateau and back to climbing the Mount Everest of kilos. With some research, we altered my program to accommodate the physiology of small women. After three months of testing, I finally PR’d and by a considerable amount. Just like that, I felt like I was back on track with the rest of the best 48’s in the nation...Read More
Daily body maintenance with a focus on preventative care if key. Most overuse injuries are often the result of what were originally smaller aches and paints that manifest overtime into common weightlifting ailments (ex. Patelar Tendonitis, Shin Splints, Elbow Tendonitis).Read More
When things are going according to plan, PR's are being hit and meets won, it is easier for the athlete to honor this trust. As the athlete advances in age and PR's become scarce due to advanced training age, this trust is often challenged and might require the coach to allow the athlete to be more involved in their training decisions. The partnership should shift towards that of a collaborative role between athlete and coach at this junction and may give a positive and welcomed sense of control back to the athlete...Read More
Following the completion of a macrocycle, it is beneficial to prescribe at least one complete week off from training. Stepping away from the barbell allows time for the body to work out any aches and pains that may have amassed from a year’s worth of hard training and allows your Central Nervous System to recharge..Read More
Knowledge: Scientific and Practical
While our programs are grounded in good science, we also rely heavily on our own evidence based reality. This is a reality that has been forged from working with athletes across a breadth of various sports with a wide range of training ages and abilities. We take a scientific approach and blend it with this practical knowledge to form the fabric of the Barbell WOD. While the basis of our program may on the surface look Soviet, there are some very noteworthy departures.
We use Block Periodization models leveraged from some of the most well known coaches and researchers such as Verkhoshansky, Roman, Medvedyev and Bondarchuk. We then combine the traditional block methodology with a Percentage + Progressive Overload (PPO) strategy developed here at California Strength. Using the PPO strategy to drive intensity and training consistency is especially useful when combined with implementing a large range of exercise selection.
Over the years we have found that allowing our athletes to achieve continuous success (small and consistent PR’s) in a variety of exercises yields long term interest and helps to drive motivation. Achieving success during training is imperative to the long-term success of our athletes and with the wide range of exercise selection used in our programming, these PR attempts come often with the implementation of non-competition exercises ranging from hitting a double in the Low Hang Snatch to a 5 Rep Max Back Squat. Having a wide variation of complementary exercises allows us to consistently operate at the edges of one's ability. This high degree of varied exercise selection combined with the PPO strategy helps drive skill acquisition while guarding against overuse injuries and neural fatigue.
Applying this method to the Barbell WOD has shown to not only provide a structured approach for those who may find themselves jumping from program to program in the past, but also the blend of exercise selection and Percentage + Progressive Overload challenges its members while avoiding an inevitable burnout or plateau that comes as a result of unstructured programs.
Anchor Dates and Feedback
Taking into account the principles above, we begin to build the Barbell WOD program by structuring our annual goals and Anchor Dates. The goals of the Barbell WOD have always been to improve technique and movement through building strength based on structural balance ratios. Anchor Dates like the CF Open provide the timeline used to structure each Mesocycle in order to be ready when it counts in competition.
Athlete Feedback is a useful tool for all coaches but tracking this feedback and then applying it to your program can be a challenge. We are able to use the analytics and tracking features in the TrainHeroic App to gather data from the entire Barbell WOD community. Decisions made from this data allows us to combine input from past experiences, past athletes, and past successes and failures to use as cornerstones for improving the Barbell WOD programming with every cycle. As people continue to join the Barbell WOD, our Feedback data expands and we are able to zero in on exactly what our athletes need in their programming.
A quick look at Dave’s book shelf inside California Strength..
Supertraining by Yuri Verkhoshansky and Mel Siff
Tapering and Peaking for Optimal Performance by Inigo Mujika
- The Snatch, The Clean And Jerk by R.A. Roman and M.S. Shakirzyanov
In this article we want to discuss a concept that may seem obvious at first glance and yet it is an area where mistakes are made frequently. The issue we want to address is how an athlete should attack progressively loading heavier weights on a bar in the Snatch and Clean in a given workout. As an athlete loads heavier weight on a barbell, the bar cannot continue to be accelerated using the same force or achieve the same peak velocity. For example, Spencer Moorman cannot pull 160kg with the same speed as he can pull 100kg. Therefore we must have an approach and a strategy to counter this slower bar speed as he makes progressively heavier attempts.Read More
Ivan Abadjiev once confided in me, “Anyone can Snatch and Clean, only true Champions can Jerk!”
At the time, I didn’t fully appreciate the complexity of the Split Jerk, but after hitting a wall in my own lifting as a result of my Jerk and after trying to teach athletes how to perform the movement over the last decade and I am now in full agreement.Read More